The youth exchange „Youth’s Perspective on Employment“ where seven of our representatives participated, took place in Çankırı, Turkey from the 16th to the 22nd of August 2021. There were also participants from Turkey, Romania, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.
“It was really amazing, eye-opening, and also a first at least for me, experience to meet people from all these countries. For the first time, I got exposed to new ideas, experiences, perspectives from different people. But also I was surprised how some things are so similar or even the same.
Coming from a country that has one of the highest youth unemployment in Europe when I saw the call for the exchange in Çankırı it really sparked my interest because as a young person who is close to finishing university and is going to join the job market in the near future I personally got interested in that other countries and young people deal with the struggle to find a job.
At the project, we played various games to get to know each other, connect with each other. We also visited the youth center in Çankırı, a place where young people from Çankırı can learn, play, have fun, enjoy their time and build healthy habits. In addition, we visited the castle near Çankırı which had an amazing view over the town. Also, we visited the salt mine, one of the biggest employers in Çankırı. There we could see how salt is mined. Also, I found it interesting that there were fossils of some prehistoric animals. There were a lot of statues and rock carvings made from salt and other minerals found in the mine.
During another presentation as a group representing the CET platform and our country of North Macedonia, we brought a lot of points about how young people struggle to find a job. Firstly we talked about the brain drain that happens especially to Western Europe which as a problem we also saw it presented by all of the other countries. Secondly, we talked about the need for party members to find a government job, a problem which the people from Poland told me that it was really big there but with the Polish joining in Europe, and young people replacing the old politicians from communist times and some other factors, things slowly but surely changed.
During the intercultural night, we represented our country with a video and various snacks and drinks. I also observed how similar a lot of the food was compared to Romania. Also how I basically knew a lot of the names of the Turkish foods, mostly because Turkish cuisine is present a lot in our country.
During this exchange, I met a lot of great people. The chemistry and connection I had especially with the Macedonian group was nothing short of amazing. For that, I would like to thank CET platform for choosing such a great group. We talked about topics that concern us as young people, walked through Çankırı, experienced most of the town, tasted the local cuisine like döner, tea, coffee, desserts and so on. We met a lot of really friendly local people who were surprised that we were in Çankırı but were so welcoming.
Taking everything into account, it was a great and productive experience for me. I learned and gained a lot of knowledge and ideas, especially about new cultures and unemployment. So I’m ready to spread the new ideas I have and have a positive impact on people around me”, participant’s memoirs from the youth exchange.